Right now everywhere we turn, there is a new anti-bullying campaign popping up. I for one am all for this but something I don't see are messages to empower the ones being bullied.
I spent most of my childhood and adolescent life being bullied by someone. Sometimes as an adult in this industry I am still bullied, and worse, it's by people who claim they are supposed to care for my career. Bullying can happen in all forms and fashions. All of the current campaigns are asking the bullies to stop. As much as I applaud the idea, there is nothing we can do that can stop people from being hurtful. It is part of human nature. Instead of asking them to stop, which usually won't happen, why don't we empower the ones who are bullied? Take away the victim mentality and give them power and strength.
As a young girl I was constantly being picked on. I struggled with my weight from the time I was about six years old and that is around the same time that kids started to be cruel. In junior high and high school it only got worse. I would come home and cry but I would never ever let them see me cry. Growing up with two brothers who picked on me quite a bit, I remember my parents saying to me, 'Jessica, if they don't think they are bothering you, they will stop. Stop letting them know they are getting to you'. That would prove to be some very valuable advice. I began to use that technique with the bullies in school and sure enough, they stopped. People saw that I was tough and eventually didn't bother picking on me about my weight anymore or the fact that I was dyslexic. Some of the bullies actually became my friends and through that stopped their bullying ways completely.
There was another time in my early 20s that I was walking to my car with some girlfriends after a concert. A group of guys walked by me chanting, 'fat fat fat fat, you're so fat'. First off, seriously?! Second, I stopped and turned around and said, 'what was that? I'm fat?' Acting surprised, 'I had absolutely no idea. Thank you so much for telling me that! I've been wondering if I was?!' They were in absolute shock and had nothing to say, instead they walked away quietly. I felt so powerful. I beat them at their own game. I made the bully feel like a fool. That it what we need to be teaching the ones that feel like victims. Don't be a victim. Hold your head up high and own those things you are being bullied about. Use it as fuel in your journey through life.
For the rest of our lives we will face injustices in some way or another. It could be in school, work, or even situations with complete strangers. We have a choice, we can beg these people to stop and hide away or we can stand strong and not let them get to us. I find the latter is most effective. Another thing we need to ask ourselves, are you being the bully and don't know it? For instance, when you see someone wear an outfit that you don't approve of and may not look great on, do you keep quiet or do you make fun of them? I for one am guilty of this. We as women can be so judgemental of other women, especially when we are with our girlfriends. We need to lift each other up rather than tear one another down. This is bullying too, even though it seems innocent. I watch people like plus size super model Tess Holliday, and how she handles the bullies she encounters every single day. She embraces the thing about herself that people are judging her for and now she is reaping the rewards of her confidence.
We need to teach kids today that you don't have to stand for it. Seeing young children committing suicide because of bullies doesn't have to happen. Those of us who have been in their shoes need to show them that they can find strength in what others see as a weakness. They can build themselves to become strong individuals with more power and confidence in who they are than they can ever imagine. We can't always change the hearts of bad people, but we can change ourselves and the way we react to hurtful words. Maybe our new anti-bullying campaign should say, #IWontBeAVictim.
Jessica's recipe for Cauliflower Pizza
- 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat your oven to 400F/200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until it has a rice-like consistency. Transfer to a pot and steam over the stove on low heat until it's cooked throughout. Pour onto a tea towel or paper napkins, letting it cool slightly and ringing out as much water as possible. The key is to get all of the moisture out as you can to make sure you end up with a crispy pizza crust. You might have to transfer to a dry towel and ring it out two or three times. This is the most time-consuming part but it's worth it, trust me!
- Once almost all of the moisture is removed place the cauliflower in a bowl. Combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and egg. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into the shape of your choice, thin and evenly. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes. I added low sodium tomato sauce, reduced fat pepperoni, a small amount of parmesan cheese and a few squares of mozzarella. Once baked I added some rocket on top. Be mindful of the calories and amounts of items you are using. I ate half of the pizza one day and the rest for lunch the next. It is easily reheated in the oven and just as good! You can also make several of the crusts, freeze them and do step 4 whenever you like. Enjoy!
From Jess's trainer Eric Bartee with 5 Star Performance in Sugar Land, Texas
The TRX suspension trainer works the whole body: from the shoulders having to stabilize the upper body all the way to the legs helping stabilize the hips and knees. This exercise focuses on maintaining a tight core while doing a "crunching" motion with the hip flexers and lower abs. If you do not have the TRX band, try using a small stability ball. Place the top of your ankles with your toes pointed on the ball and assume the same position and motion as the pictures.
Tagged in Jessica Clemmons